Day 165: Jeremiah Goes Back to Judah

Jeremiah 40:1-6

The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, after Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah who were carried away captive to Babylon. The captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said to him, “Yahweh your God pronounced this evil on this place; and Yahweh has brought it, and done according as he spoke. Because you have sinned against Yahweh, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing has come on you. Now, behold, I release you today from the chains which are on your hand. If it seems good to you to come with me into Babylon, come, and I will take care of you; but if it seems bad to you to come with me into Babylon, don’t. Behold, all the land is before you. Where it seems good and right to you to go, there go.” Now while he had not yet gone back, “Go back then,” he said, “to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people; or go wherever it seems right to you to go.”

So the captain of the guard gave him food and a present, and let him go. Then Jeremiah went to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah, and lived with him among the people who were left in the land.

One of the things that really strikes me about this passage is the fact that Babylon’s captain of the guard, Nebuzaradan, was so aware of God. He knew that the reason that Babylon had taken Judah in battle was because the God of all Heaven was punishing them. It appears that the Babylonians were paying closer attention to the Bible than Judah was. Isn’t that interesting? It’s possible for the religious to get so caught up in their religion that they fail to listen to and believe in the Bible. It is also possible for those who are completely un-religious to hear what the Bible says and change their lives because of it.

It would also appear that Jeremiah was actually popular with the king in Babylon. I’ve noticed that this is true in countries that actually have leadership that believes in the Bible. Crossing the boarder can be a life-changing experience. When the leadership of a country becomes anti-Bible, people like Jeremiah are hated, but when the leadership is pro-Bible, people like Jeremiah are treated with great respect.

Jeremiah was bound with all of the other captives at first but later was unbound and given freedom to go wherever he wanted to go. Isn’t that amazing? The captain actually said to Jeremiah: “Behold, all the land is before you. Where it seems good and right to you to go, there go.” This is the freedom that a true believer in God is supposed to have. In this world, it is rarely given, but there are times when God allows His will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

So, with food and a present given to him by Babylon, Jeremiah chose to go back to live with the poor people who were left behind in Judah. Not long before this time, Jeremiah was wondering if he would be left to die in well of mud but in the end Jeremiah was given freedom by God to stay in the land and live with his people. It’s pretty revealing that Jeremiah chose to stay in Judah. The country was destroyed now and very depressing. It would have been a pretty good deal to be living off of the government in Babylon where things were probably much nicer. It stands as a testimony to the heart of Jeremiah. He never wanted his people to leave the land, and neither did God. God’s heart was in Judah and Jeremiah represented the heart of God in his decision.

Day 148: Oppression, Lies and God’s Judgment

Jeremiah 34:8-22

The word came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, after king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty to them, that every man should let his male servant, and every man his female servant, who is a Hebrew or a Hebrewess, go free, that no one should make bondservants of them, of a Jew his brother. All the princes and all the people obeyed who had entered into the covenant, that everyone should let his male servant and everyone his female servant go free, that no one should make bondservants of them any more. They obeyed and let them go, but afterwards they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids whom they had let go free to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids.

Therefore Yahweh’s word came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, “Yahweh, the God of Israel, says: ‘I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying: At the end of seven years, every man of you shall release his brother who is a Hebrew, who has been sold to you, and has served you six years. You shall let him go free from you. But your fathers didn’t listen to me, and didn’t incline their ear. You had now turned, and had done that which is right in my eyes, in every man proclaiming liberty to his neighbor. You had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name; but you turned and profaned my name, and every man caused his servant and every man his handmaid, whom you had let go free at their pleasure, to return. You brought them into subjection, to be to you for servants and for handmaids.’ ”

Therefore Yahweh says: “You have not listened to me, to proclaim liberty, every man to his brother, and every man to his neighbor. Behold, I proclaim to you a liberty,” says Yahweh, “to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine. I will make you be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the earth. I will give the men who have transgressed my covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before me when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts: the princes of Judah, the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land, who passed between the parts of the calf. I will even give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their life. Their dead bodies will be food for the birds of the sky and for the animals of the earth.

“I will give Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes into the hands of their enemies, into the hands of those who seek their life and into the hands of the king of Babylon’s army, who has gone away from you. Behold, I will command,” says Yahweh, “and cause them to return to this city. They will fight against it, take it, and burn it with fire. I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.”

This is a long passage today but I think it’s important to allow God to tell us what He thinks about this specific situation. God had required Israel to free all of its slaves every seven years. Obviously, they hadn’t been doing that and when they finally decided to do it, they took another oath before God to do so. Then, after freeing the slaves, they went back on their word and forced them into slavery again. Can you imagine the suffering those slaves must have felt to have had a false sense of freedom only to have it taken away?

I know that God felt the pain of those slaves, but even more than that, God had His own pain. His people not only broke the law, they made an oath before God and broke it again. To say that God was mad is to put it mildly. Notice what God says in His judgment. He tells them: “I proclaim to you a liberty” and then He describes the fact that He intends to make them sick, put them in slavery and kill them and make them bird feed. He simply gave them the freedom that they had given their own slaves and punished them for their violation of the law and their oaths.

As you can see, God hates slavery, oppression and lies. We read here that they tend to go together. We can also see that whoever does these things will not get away with them.

News Feeds

Here’s a practical way to promote the freedom of speech!

If you get an app that reads RSS feeds, you can:

  • Get updates from your favorite sources automatically
  • Avoid having to use email to get your updates.
  • Go around censorship by bypassing Apple, Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and everyone else.
  • Get my daily devotions automatically
  • Get updates from Troy Taft Library

Using an RSS feed reader is like making your own “Twitter” or newspaper that comes directly to your app. “RSS” stands for Real Simple Syndicate and it’s just a technology that makes it possible for websites to share their content directly with your app. Your app just goes to the website for you and checks to see if anything is new. Because you go directly to the websites from your app, it bypasses the censorship that could happen in the middle.

You can get an RSS feed reader apps from Google Play or the Apple App store. The Windows app store also has RSS reader apps. Just search for “RSS Feed Reader” and then copy feeds and paste them into the place where feeds can be added in your app. Some email apps already have a place for you to add RSS feeds. If you use Microsoft Outlook app on your desktop computer, here are instructions for using RSS feeds using the Outlook app.

I’m currently using an app on my Android phone called “Aggregator“. I’m also using Thunderbird for email which also allows you to get messages from RSS feeds. Here they are:

Get help from a friend if you need to

You might need to get the help of the person you know that always helps you do things on your phone. Just show them this page and they will probably figure out how to do it if they don’t know already. Just “Copy” a feed below and add it into your app by pasting it into the place where your app takes the feed address or “URL”.

My List of RSS Feeds

This Site’s Feeds
Troy Taft Library:  
Current Daily Devotional:  
General News Feeds
The Worldview in 5 Minutes:  
RedVoice Media:  
One America News Network:  
WND News:  
The Gateway Pundit:  
CD Media:  
CBN News:  
Western Journal:  
Charlie Kirk:  
Creation and Science Feeds
Biblical Science Institute:  
Answers in Genesis:  
Institute for Creation Research:  
Creation Ministries International:  
More Feeds
Judicial Watch:  
The Highwire:  
Defy Tyrants:  
Financial Issues:  

Day 10: The One and Only Son

John 1:14 : The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Since it’s so easy to look things up in the Bible these days, I encourage you to look up the verses that are listed by reference in these lessons.

Here we read that Jesus became a real person. He wasn’t a ghost or some kind of spirit. He was a real “flesh” and bone person. John, in I John, talks much more about the physical reality of Jesus. Some people say that Jesus was not a real person but a non-physical entity. It is very clear from the Bible that Jesus was “flesh.” He really lived on earth and he really displayed His glory. I think that the glory he is talking about here is the glory that John witnessed at the transfiguration; a time when Jesus appeared to His disciples in his heavenly glory while he was on earth. There are accounts of this event in the Bible (see: Matthew 17:1-6)

This verse also says that Jesus is the only son of God. This may be confusing because he just got done writing earlier that we are God’s children too. It is important to realize that we are not children like Jesus is. The Bible says that we are children of God because of what Jesus did. Jesus is a child of God because He is God. In that sense He is the only one who is a Son of God in the way He is. We, on the other hand are God’s children because of Jesus. You can read more about the fact that you are a Son of God by reading more in I John 2:28 – 3:2.

Jesus is “full of grace and truth.” I have been a believer for long time and I am still only beginning to appreciate this. The grace of Jesus is His favor for us. He likes us, just because He likes us. He doesn’t like us because we are so good or beautiful or popular or anything else. He just likes us because he decided to. On top of this, he gives us truth. He didn’t just give us commandments. He gave us truth. When you know the truth, you get to believe, not just follow orders. We know that when you believe something you do follow orders because you want to. Someone who does what they want all the time is free. Logically, I can see that the truth is connected to freedom, but only when I believe in Jesus.